School of Population Health

Making News: Engaging the Media (GENM0510)

image - Managing Media


This exciting course provides an introductory overview of contemporary trends in mass media and the key concepts necessary to understand what media is and how to contextualise news. The course has a specific focus on engaging with media to promote health and social wellness issues, highlight health issues and challenges through media advocacy, and to raise awareness and mobilise for social change. The course provides opportunities to engage with inspirational people from across all aspects of media, from print to social media and in between. The current Australian media landscape is examined through analysis of readings and special guest lectures from different media outlets providing a close insight into their industry, how to best choose the best channel and how to tailor the message for it. The second half of the course gives practical instruction and training on developing content for mass media, providing the students with tools to tailor content, to writing for media, planning, developing a strategy and managing journalists.

Credit points

This course is an undergraduate General Education course, comprising 6 units of credit towards the total of 12 units of credit required of General Education for most undergraduate students.

Mode of study

Internal (Face-to-Face) classes on campus.

Course aim

The aims of this course are to broaden your understanding of how mass media operates in Australian society; and to equip students with skills to enable them, as a non-journalists, to exploit the potential of media to raise issues of concern into the public domain.

Course Outcomes

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Appreciate how mass media functions and examine current trends and key stakeholders;
  • Appraise Australian mass media more analytically and critically;
  • Develop material in the correct format for publication and dissemination through mass media;
  • Identify and critically review the key elements of media strategies, to determine the advantages and disadvantages of different mediums and approaches;
  • Analyse the main points involved in planning, implementing and the best approach to place published material and ensure its maximum effect.
Learning and teaching rationale

The course material is supplemented by lectures from outside experts who are engaged in media liaison in TV, print and radio and also on the use of the internet as a mass medium. All participants are encouraged to express their thoughts and opinions about media and also to interact with other students, who are drawn from a wide variety of faculties in the university. Assessment is continuous over the five days of the course while there is also a final paper due after the classes are complete.

Teaching strategies
  • Face-to-face teaching and classwork takes place in the daily sessions set out in the Course Schedule at the end of the course outline. Students have a group presentation as well as tutorial exercises and overnight assessments as well as two major assessments.
  • In this course, the reading material and links are supplied online through Moodle.  You should do the readings before you come to the class so as to be prepared to take part in the class discussions.  
  • Through the presentation assessment, you will be given the opportunity to pursue your own individual interests (related to the subject matter). Working in a group will allow you to experience teamwork with students from other disciplines.
  • Preparing and performing the presentation will enable you to improve your oral communication skills.

Assessment Task 1 - Overnight tasks (3)
Weighting: 30%

Assessment Task 2 - Group presentation
Weighting: 35%

Assessment Task 3 - Final assignment: Media campaign
Weighting: 35%

Readings and resources

Learning resources for this course consist of the following:

  1. Course notes and readings (posted on Moodle)
  2. Lectures slides (posted in Moodle)
  3. Lecture recordings (available in Moodle)
  4. Supplementary resources such as videos, podcasts (available in Moodle)